THE MISSION OF STUDIO BAGRU is to foster grassroots entrepreneurial and design innovation across the world. Their vision is to educate consumers around the world about sustainable and ethical textiles and fashion through co-design workshops.
History AND TEXTILE CRAFT HERITAGE OF BAGRU
At the turn of the 21st century, textile sourcing in India was causing social, cultural, and environmental catastrophe.
The weaving trade had moved predominantly toward machine woven techniques, and screen printing was taking over the adorned fabric market.
Bagru, a historical center of hand block printing was beginning to feel this shift as demand for low price quick return orders increased. The historic community of block printing artisans was beginning to suffer from the fast fashion epidemic of the globalized world.
Consumer mindset had shifted from a purchase and cherish tendency, to a buy and throw mentality. This was a far cry from Bagru’s printing origin during the early 17th century. At the time, the Chhipa community of printers in the region were championing the craft of hand block printing.
Using processes passed from generation to generation, these communities of craftspeople had developed a way of working together to create textile masterpieces. These fabrics were used to adorn their abodes, bodies, and for use during momentous occasions. Each printed piece was cherished for generations.
Fast forward to a fateful day in December of 2009, Jeremy Fritzhand, a student of Union College in Schenectady New York, was attending a term abroad with an Anthropology Professor named Alicia DeNicola. After touring the village with a local block printing artisan and hearing about the struggle for work and fair prices the home based artisans were facing, Jeremy came up with a plan to disrupt the unequal market landscape.
His idea was to create a brand that would promote Bagru’s historic block printing, and promote an artisan revolution that would encourage grassroots entrepreneurship. He was awarded a social entrepreneurial fellowship from his college, and moved to Bagru in June 2010 to accomplish this goal.
Ten years laters, and dozens of businesses launched, Studio Bagru continues this dream by fostering grassroots entrepreneurial and design innovation across the world. With a vision to educate consumers around sustainable and ethical textiles, Studio Bagru is a champion of fair trade and artisan promotion through their workshops, collaborations, and popups.
CULTURAL SUSTAINABILITY IN BAGRU
"Go to the people. Live with them. Learn from them. Love them.
Start with what they know.
Build with what they have.
But with the best leaders, when the work is done, the task accomplished, the people will say 'We have done this ourselves."
HEAR FROM STUDIO BAGRU
At our Cultural Intellectual Property Rights Initiative® bi-annual meetings we discuss and develop with our members ways in which to share our experiences and knowledge with communities around the world. One way to do this is by contributing as guest speakers in conferences and events.
Here are topics you can learn about from Jeremy Fritzhand, the Founder of Studio Bagru:
Introduction to Hand Block Printing - A 2 Hour Virtual Workshop
Working with craft communities in India - Discussion